Conflicts Between Low Prothrombin Time and Vitamin K

Q I’m on warfarin for life. Just recently I started taking products from Life Enhancement and my protime became low, so my doctor told me to stop taking your products. They were helping. Can you help me pick products that would not affect my protime?

DANIEL, Asotin, WA

A Prothrombin time (protime) and derivative ratios are measures of the extrinsic pathway of coagulation. They are used to determine the clotting tendency of blood, in order to adjust warfarin dosage, assess any liver damage, and measure vitamin K status. The last is where the problem lies. If you choose products that do not contain vitamin K, you are unlikely to experience alteration in your protime. You should definitely work with your physician.

On the other hand, an impressive paper has recently been published about the impact of vitamin K dietary intake and warfarin, finding that the long-term anticoagulation effect of warfarin is more stable in the patients who take greater than a certain amount of dietary vitamin K. It’s worth bringing to your physician’s attention.1

  1. Kim KH, Choi WS, Lee JH, Lee H, Yang DH, Chae SC. Relationship between dietary vitamin K intake and the stability of anticoagulation effect in patients taking long-term warfarin. Thromb Haemost 2010 Jul 20;104(4).

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